I saw the potential in this small Port Stanley store so I offered my services to give it a little facelift. :) With a tiny budget we set out to transform the place.
I decided on, what I’m calling, a Rustic Beach Theme - light & airy with antique/rustic touches.
A little back history:
My parent’s own the store, but it’s definitely my mom’s baby. My dad purchased the store in May 2007. I moved, with my dad, to manage the store for the summer. I arrived to a store that resembled well, a flee market. There were purses hanging all over the ceiling, handwritten signs all over the place, shirts tacked to walls, fake palm trees in every corner, a singing reindeer, etc. It was claustrophobic and uninviting to say the least! The “before” pics you see are a few weeks into the first summer, so you don’t get to see the true hideousness (too bad!). My mom took over managing the store in October of 2007 when I moved to Tanzania, for the better part of a year. During that time, a slatwall was installed, a fitting room assembled, a few display display racks replaced with used 4-way racks, and a few other small changes here and there. They were heading in the right direction but needed the extra boost in design ideas/style that I could offer.
BEFORE & AFTERS:
The first and obvious choice was to lighten the place up with a couple of coats of paint. This sounds easier said then done as it took my dad and I two coats of primer and two coats of paint for each wall (budget = $80). Next, on the docket was addressing the wall shelving. I described what I wanted to my dad. He took a part an existing shelving unit, found old flag polls in our back room, bought a few screws and presto – new shelving for $5!
On the left you’ll see a hanging display “ladder”. My sister and I went down to the beach one day and picked out a few pieces of driftwood. After they dried out a little I brushed them off, sanded, and sealed them. My dad had some sisal rope lying around so I left the rest up to him. I also used driftwood in various other decor elements. We also installed a long shelf, large mirror, and 2 square stools (budget = $125)
Though you can’t see it here, in the fitting rooms, I striped the wallpaper, primed, painted, and hung “beadboard” wall paper. It’s cheaper and easier to install then the real stuff, though not as durable (budget = $30). The carpet in the fitting rooms was worn and torn. Luckly, we found a random roll of nice neutral carpet in our apartment storage, so dad installed it.
On the corner of this picture you can just see the edge of the counter. We found this glass front displayer/counter for $50. My dad and sis painted it a nice crisp white (leftovers), and gave it a whole new life. Again the shelves are from the shelving unit my dad dismantled (mentioned earlier). The antique dresser you see was already in the store. You’ll notice the really, really sad hardwood floors (as far as I know this would be the building owner’s responsibility). My guess is that soon they’ll be beyond repair.
Here we got rid of the ugly mannequin (she had a name at one point!) and replaced it. We added a mirror that my parent’s already owned. You can just barely see it, there is a really cool antique cupboard directly underneath the mirror (used to be used as a counter). I love the exposed brick but it has never been properly trimmed out, patched or sealed (it’s a bit crumbly). Our budget was as such that we couldn’t even consider doing anything about the rough wood window casing, or the lighting. Actually, I would think that should also come under property maintenance by the building owners (?!).
For the outside we obviously needed signage. You can read all about the creation of the main sign here (budget = $150). We already had the metal a-frame so my dad cut down two pieces of plywood (leftovers) to size and I hand painted the sign with leftover paints. I purchased two window decals (budget $26) and added 2 more urns with flowers (budget $40). Oh, and upon my request, my dad painted the side window trim white.
A complete transformation for $900! (including all items listed plus new faceouts & displayers, decor items, trim, painting supplies, and retail bags).
So there you are, a facelift on a shoestring budget! If Inspireling can do it, you can, too!
PS. You can visit the Russell House website at www.russellhouseapparel.com